Virtual Iron competes with VMware on power management, to support Intel Dynamic Power Node Manager

By the end of this month Virtual Iron will be ready to roll out the version 4.4 of its platform.

Despite the numbering this update comes a major new feature called LivePower:

LivePower optimizes data center power consumption by monitoring resource utilization in the virtual data center. When there is excess CPU capacity, LivePower consolidates virtual machines onto fewer physical servers and shuts down the remaining devices based on pre-defined policies. When the virtual machine load increases beyond pre-defined thresholds, LivePower turns physical servers back on and live migrates virtual machines to rebalance the virtual data center and ensure that resource requirements and service levels are met.

LivePower sounds pretty similar to the Distributed Power Management (DPM) that VMware introduced in version 2.5 of its VirtualCenter.
And exactly like the VMware feature, also LivePower currently has an experimental support.

With LivePower, Virtual Iron announced the upcoming support for a new feature that Intel Core i7 (formerly codename Nehalem) will introduce: the Dynamic Power Node Manager.

Node Manager is an out-of-band (OOB) power management policy engine that is embedded in Intel server chipset. It works with BIOS and OS power management (OSPM) to dynamically adjust platform power to achieve maximum performance/power at node (server) level. Node Manager has the following features:

  • Dynamic Power Monitoring: Measures actual power consumption of a server platform within acceptable error margin of +/- 10%. Node Manager gathers information from PSMI instrumented power supply, provides real-time power consumption data (point in time, or average over an interval), and reports through IPMI interface.
  • Platform Power Capping: Sets platform power to a targeted power budget while maintaining maximum performance for the given power level. Node Manager receives power policy from an external management console through IPMI interface and maintains power at targeted level by dynamically adjusting CPU p-states.
  • Power Threshold Alerting: Node Manager monitors platform power against targeted power budget. When the target power budget cannot be maintained, Node Manager sends out alerts to the management console